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Keith_A_Howe
01-02-2011, 05:00 AM
I posted this image under the technique thread but I wanted to point out some other stuff about it that added to it's success and eventual selection for loan collection.
http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p308/imager410/ementanglementpbucket.jpg

Subject matter - how common is a senior girl as subject matter? I don't think I could have chosen a more common subject for competition . . . well maybe an old man with lot's of wrinkles, a pregnant woman or a close up of a flower . . . Anyway, even though she is a common subject choice, she is very attractive and has a little bit of a different look about her, partly because of the short hair. Mainly she is appropriate for the overall message of the image.

Lighting - good direction, good ratio and appropriate light quality, detail in the shadows and detail in the highlights ( it appears blown out background on the monitor but not the case on the print) The kicker light to camera right separates her from the background and adds dimension to her bust line but unlike so many kickers we see anymore it is NOT brighter then the main light.

Composition, this is basically a studio head and shoulders portrait but the composition makes it a little unique. plus we have a very strong leading line from upper left to the subject at lower right. The subject is placed at about 1/3rd although from the bottom rather then the top so it is unique. There is a repetition of lines, notice how the curve of her cowl neck sweater is repeated in the curves of the drapery, the small curls on her forehead, her arm and even the pose of her hand.

Pose - her face is turned into the light and her body is turned away, angling her body to the camera. Her hand is posed in an appropriately graceful and feminine position. Her lower arm is cut off but at a visually comfortable spot. Her chin is slightly tipped down which makes the eyes open up.

correct key - white sweater , white drape, white background. Imagine how much less successful this would have been if she had worn a mid to dark tone sweater. Instead of supporting the image , that sweater would have taken away from the main center of interest.

Center of interest - everything leads us to and supports her face. The other elements are subservient.

expression - Over and over I see serious expressions that are just blank. You can't read anything in the eyes. Here the subject is making eye contact with the viewer. That makes all the difference in the world. If you are struggling with this, have your subjects look right into the lens.

title - Emotional Entanglement It gave a story for the judges to read into and explained the draping and way it was twisted around her arm.


This image was not created for competition. It was a part of a regular client senior session. People talk about shooting specifically for print competition and this proves that's totally not necessary to do well. People also talk about how hard it is to pick what to enter. My wife suggested this one for comp. I would never have looked at it twice on my own.

Maybe someone else can also post one of their loan images and we can talk about why it succeeded. It might be helpful to beginners to talk about and look at successful images.
Keith

cat_broderick
01-02-2011, 03:14 PM
Lovely image, Keith, and as usual, thank you for all the detailed info that helps us succeed.

alicjacolon
01-02-2011, 06:27 PM
I have to ask. Keith, were you planning on using the drapery in her session, or once you saw her sweater you were inspired? Maybe this is a better question to post somewhere else, as this thread is for loan images?

Keith_A_Howe
01-02-2011, 06:47 PM
Alicja,

I probably have 200-300 backgrounds/props. I don't plan in advance. Once the client comes in and I see the clothing, I make tentative plans. I don't remember if I planned this drapery once I saw her sweater but I certainly thought to do some high key and this sheer fabric hangs at the side of my high key sweep, so maybe I just saw it and used it on the spur of the moment.

I guess you are asking did I plan for the repeated shapes? I don't know for sure. Sometimes I think "if I do this it will echo the shape of that" and sometimes I just do something and then recognize what is happening. I really don't remember which it was on this image. It goes back to the more you look at images and study them you become aware of things on a subconscious level. Even if you are not specifically thinking about repeating a line or composing in a certain way, subconsciously you know what looks right and you just do it that way. That's why being a judge has helped my work immensely, because I regularly study thousands of images. Who can help but be effected by that?

Keith

ErinnA
01-02-2011, 09:17 PM
I really this image. and thanks for posting all your info!

Ron_Jackson
01-02-2011, 10:12 PM
Maybe someone else can also post one of their loan images and we can talk about why it succeeded. It might be helpful to beginners to talk about and look at successful images.
Keith

I like this idea and would like to see others post their "loan" images for further discussions.

Keith_A_Howe
01-02-2011, 10:18 PM
I like this idea and would like to see others post their "loan" images for further discussions.

So would I. That's the idea. Nobody benefits if it's just my work.

Keith

Jeff_Dachowski
01-03-2011, 01:16 AM
Here are two Loan Images...
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p179/dachowski/edgeoftheearth-1.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p179/dachowski/leanonme3.jpg

Jeff

Ron_Jackson
01-03-2011, 01:27 AM
Jeff could you make them a little larger. These are really hard to see. :)

Glad you posted. I was just thinking about you and if you would help. Thanks and....beautiful images by the way.

Rick_Massarini
01-03-2011, 01:31 AM
Here is a Loan Image from a couple of years ago

Jeff_Dachowski
01-03-2011, 01:40 AM
Jeff could you make them a little larger. These are really hard to see. :)
.

Ron,
What is that saying..." Go big or go home?"



Jeff

Keith_A_Howe
01-03-2011, 04:14 AM
Jeff & Rick,
How about you guys give us an explanation of why these three images made it into loan collection?
Keith

ShooterCL
01-03-2011, 05:47 AM
For what it is worth - here is my first loan image. From this year, so I'm excited to see it on display in SAT this month.

Misty_Cromer
01-03-2011, 03:53 PM
WOW! Beautiful work.

alicjacolon
01-03-2011, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the sharing the images.

For novice like me, could it be possible to say a word or two as to why these particular images went loan?

TIA

Ron_Jackson
01-04-2011, 02:50 AM
Okay Jeff and Cliff.......still waiting to hear your comments on why you think your images went Loan. Then a reply from Keith would be nice. Love the images.

Jeff_Dachowski
01-04-2011, 03:28 AM
Jeff & Rick,
How about you guys give us an explanation of why these three images made it into loan collection?
Keith

Keith,
I have never been to nationals, or seen a loan panel do it's work, so I am a bit perplexed at why these particular images were accepted into the loan collection. Couple that with my belief that other images I made that year were stronger contenders for the Loan Collection leave me a bit wary of giving reasons of why they went loan. Not trying to be coy, just trying to be a bit real. I think stating reasons, or motivations on why a loan panel connected with an image of my own is kind of tricky.

In your case, you have likely sat on many Loan panels, and even have seen your images go in front of the panel, and listen to the discussions for and possibly against.
Jeff

Rick_Massarini
01-04-2011, 05:48 AM
Well, even though I could never get the critique disk of my images from that year to play (technical problem) I was lucky enough to happen to walk into the critique room while Dave and Greg were critiquing my images. After listening to them say how one of the images, while a great image and a merit print, just lacked that little extra bit of punch needed to go into the Loan, this one on the other hand just jumped out and grabbed them and had a "wow" factor (Greg's words - not mine) when it first came around. The lighting on the dog was well done, the kicker lights added to the detail in the dog's hair, and the engaging expression on the dog's face just grabbed their attention - and that's why it went into the Loan.

The funny thing is that they both missed recognizing my name since it was listed on the back as my full name (Frederick) and not just as Rick - they both know me as Rick, not as Frederick. When I thanked them for the critique, they were both surprised that I didn't say something when I walked in - but I didn't want my being there in the back of the room to distract them from what they were saying to the camera - I only heard two of the images critiqued since I walked into the room when they were already started critiquing my third image so I only heard the last two critiques and this was one of them.

ShooterCL
01-04-2011, 06:15 AM
Well, Having been involved in PPA competitions for just a few years but locally for about 7, I know that judging is a very subjective thing. Every judge has biases for and against certain things.

At least the PPA has the "12 Elements of a Merit Image" as some broad areas to be evaluated.

I won't go through 12, but here are some thoughts on my swimmer and how that image fits into a few of the twelve. This is a case of NOT being shot for competition, but to get the image mom wanted.

IMPACT: Certainly not something all that easy to see in a small web image, the but 16x20 glossy print of this with the warm skin tones and cool pool tones makes for a great first impression. Before sending the print off, the most common reaction to the print from my fellow photographers was , "Wow."

CREATIVITY: Not a normal view of the backstroke start. The only way I got this was to hold the short lens camera under the start block, guess at the angle and press the shutter. The reward was this image along with several unusable images.

TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE: the subject is properly in focus, it is not possible to tell that this is the result of multiple layers, no cloning errors, etc,

COMPOSITION: Subject is not dead-center (although in this case that might be OK), the arms form leading lines to his body. The wide angle lens accentuates his arms and hands and in this case that is not a flaw. The pool wall and lane guides also frame the subject.

LIGHTING: Reflection off the water (and RAW developing) exposes the swimmer's front and sunshine does a great job of defining the muscles on his shoulders and arms. The background was darkened to keep the subject as the brightest object.

CENTER OF INTEREST: No question here what is important.

STORY TELLING: What I see - and maybe the judges did - is that moment just before "SET." He has just come up out of the pool and you can see the water draining off his chin. If you have ever been a competitive swimmer or been to a meet, you can almost feel the adrenaline the swimmer feels. Looking past the swimmer you can see the crowd awaiting his performance.

OK - that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I realize others my disagree - might even think it is not deserving of a merit, let alone becoming a loan image. I rather like it.
I have no idea it this is helpful or not - but I hope first time entrants use the elements list to evaluate their own images to see how those images stack up to what the judges are evaluating.
I don't think you have to be perfect on all 12, but I think you have to get close on the majority.

Keith_A_Howe
01-04-2011, 03:45 PM
Thanks for the explanation Clif. I think it will be very helpful. I agree with what you had to say. It's hard to analyze your own work but you nailed it. I wanted to address this comment though.


Well, Having been involved in PPA competitions for just a few years but locally for about 7, I know that judging is a very subjective thing. Every judge has biases for and against certain things.
.

If most of your experience is local then you probably have mostly seen beginner jurors or non-approved jurors. Personal bias is something an approved juror is trained to overcome. EVERY SINGLE TIME we judge the JC fills out an evaluation on each of us. Personal bias is something they watch for and believe me, if a juror makes comments or makes it obvious with scoring that they are favoring one subject matter or style or are against a certain type of thing, it will be noticed and corrected. As jurors we are getting feedback from our JC throughout the event. That feedback, both positive and what we need to improve, takes place in private, so the audience is never aware that approved jurors are constantly being critiqued. On a local level when it is not an approved juror or jury chair , that's when you will hear comments like "well I just don't care for XYZ so I scored it XX" I have judged images that appalled me because of the subject matter, or the message of the image, yet I feel I was able to give a fair and accurate score. It's not an easy skill, but one that approved jurors are trained to accomplish otherwise they won't keep their approved status very long.

Congratulations on the loan print. Pretty soon it will be old hat because you will have so many of them!

Keith

Stephanie_Millner
01-04-2011, 05:36 PM
Here's one of mine from this year. I can post comments from the image critique too, if you want.


http://stephaniemillner.net/blogimages/5124643_healthcode_violation.jpg

Keith_A_Howe
01-04-2011, 05:41 PM
Steff, It would be great to hear anything you want to share from the critique as well as any reasons why you think this print did so well.
Keith

Stephanie_Millner
01-04-2011, 05:50 PM
The following are direct quotes from the IPC Critique:

Judge was on loan panel when it came through
"It went loan because it shows creativity and technique combined"
"The exposure is right on"
"Very sharp all the way through"
"I like the way the light works with the glass and the mouse" (she's a rat, actually)
"Everybody laughed - it caused quite a commotion. I wish you could have been there"
"Even the tonality is beautiful"
"The print presentation is good"

Keith_A_Howe
01-04-2011, 06:00 PM
Thanks Steff!

I would like to add a couple things I see. Composition is excellant. Color harmony is awesome. Think if this had been on any other color background or if the rat had been all white. It's the perfect color rat to draw our attention right to her face. The title was "Health Code Violation" which was perfect. It made the judges laugh ( like they said in your critique) which means it created an emotional response which equals impact.

If I remember correctly, didn't you say this rat gave birth about 4 minutes after this image was created?

Keith

Jeff_Dachowski
01-04-2011, 06:46 PM
Hi Folks!
I want to clarify my position on my images here. I am a PPA approved juror, and do feel very comfortable scoring prints. When the time comes that I recieve the charge to be on a loan panel, I am sure, I will be able to judge images fairly, and be open about the attributes and negatives of an image. If that time comes, and one of my prints comes through, I must disqualify myself from any involvement in the score, or comments for or against an image. This is primarily one of the reasons, I am somewhat silent on these pieces. I have never seen either image judged, at a state or national level, and therefore, I cant actually tell you "why it went loan". I wish I could be able to tell you what some of the thoughts were of the judges, but again...I didn't hear them. My own thoughts would be a bit clouded as I am pretty wrapped up in these images to look at them fairly.

Some of the things that stand out to me about my two images....
The boys....I love the light in their eyes, and on the cheek. I love the expression, and casual feelings these two brothers seem to have for each other. I like how simple it is, yet is feels well executed.

The sunrise...I made this image right before a family shoot one morning. I think the radiating lines along with the interest in the reflections make this image compelling.

Jeff

Karen_Smith
01-05-2011, 02:42 AM
This went loan this year, my first loan print. Judges loved the impact and clean whites.

Stephanie_Millner
01-05-2011, 10:31 AM
Yep, poor little rat was in labor during this image! Cute little babies, too.
http://stephaniemillner.net/blog/2009/08/and-baby-makes-17